Latest Filing in NJ Sports Betting Case Comes From Gov. Chris Christie

Pair Of NJ Sports Betting Appeals To US Supreme Court Officially Filed

NJ sports betting appeal
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The New Jersey sports betting case is trying to get its day in front of the US Supreme Court.

Whether that will actually happen or not is still in question, but now there are official petitions filed in the case. The fact that at least one such petition would be lodged came earlier this week.

New Jersey is attempting to continue its legal battle over a law it passed that would allow racetracks and casinos to offer sports betting in the state. The professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the Department of Justice have been successfully fighting that law in court under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

New Jersey has twice suffered defeats in the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, including an “en banc rehearing it lost by a margin of 9-3 in front of a panel of justices.

The petitions have come from the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Gov. Chris Christie (more on them here and here). Christie, of course, is actually named in the case, since he signed the law.

The requests for SCOTUS to hear the case center around the idea that PASPA is unconstitutional, as it usurps the Tenth Amendment. Here is the crux of the argument from the petition filed by Christie, according to North Jersey.com’s John Brennan, who broke the news:

“PASPA purports to make it unlawful for States to “authorize by law” gambling on sports. In three divided, irreconcilable, and fundamentally incomprehensible decisions, the Third Circuit rejected New Jersey’s challenge that PASPA unconstitutionally commands how it regulates such gambling within its borders”

“This federal takeover of New Jersey’s legislative apparatus is dramatic, unprecedented, and in direct conflict with this Court’s Tenth Amendment jurisprudence barring Congress from controlling how the States regulate private parties. Never before has congressional power been construed to allow the federal government to dictate whether or to what extent a State may repeal, lift, or otherwise modulate its own state-law prohibitions on private conduct. And never before has federal law been enforced to command a State to give effect to a state law that the State has chosen to repeal.”

While some legal experts believe New Jersey has a legitimate case under the constitution, it is still believed that the Supreme Court hearing the appeal is a longshot.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.